“As you can see, we’re isolated eleven possible destinations within three hyperspace jumps of Stars’ End. Given the specifications of the fugitive vessel, the number of planets with standard or low-priority Imperial presence, fuel and consumables necessities—”
Inquisitor Raith raises one finger, and the report stops mid-sentence. The officer nervously nods, then brings up a star map that takes up an entire wall of Inquisitor Raith’s ready room. Multiple color-coded paths and hyperspace routes spring to life, and possible destinations glow an inviting orange.
Long seconds tick by as Inquisitor Raith studies the star map, and the officer stands at attention, his hands clenched behind him so tight that they ache. As if by its own accord, Inquisitor Raith’s hand traces one particular path along the map, two fingertips resting on one particular glowing orb.
“Yes, Inquisitor. I’ll dispatch a star destroyer at once.” Grateful for a reason to flee, he turns sharply on his heels and heads for the door.
He freezes in place. “Two destroyers? That’s a third of your strike force! I sinc—”
Inquisitor Raith turns away from the map, and that cold, inscrutable visage locks onto him. He goes pale as he gazes at the mask. “As you command, Inquisitor. Invictus and Revenant will depart within the hour.”
The door whisks shut behind him, and Inquisitor Raith turns her attention back to that single orange spot, where her prey and her prize await.
But whereas that room is now silent, another room is abuzz with nervous tension.
Datapads stack up all around Naraana, alongside empty cafs and half-eaten ration bars, forgotten as she pours over reams of data, her lekku twitching unconsciously. Three decryption programs, two of her own design, are streaming at once, trying to make sense of what they pulled from Reltooine before the Stars’ End disaster interrupted her.
And she’s no closer to an answer. What is Project Sentinel? What is the Empire up to out there? If she only had another shot at pulling in fresh data, fresh intel, she knows she could crack this thing wide open.
What she’s got now? Little better than static on a comlink. All sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Frustrated, she pushes aside the minicomp in front of her. Only one option left.
She stands and heads out the door, marching right into Commander Merknor’s office. “Sir, I want to go back to Reltooine.”
Her superior puts down the plastifilm sheet that had previously held his attention, and turns to the ambitious young woman. “That would be ill-advised, Naraana, especially considering the increased scrutiny of the moment. You’re still a wanted felon.”
“I know, sir, but I have a job to do, an important one, and I intend to see it through. Sooner, rather than later. We need that data, and you don’t have anyone else with my skills to spare right now. I know how the war effort is going. We’re scrambling. The Empire will take advantage of that. I can’t allow an opportunity like this to pass us by. The answers are waiting for us on Reltooine. Just give me a chance.”
The commander rises, circling around his desk to stand in front of her. His tone is clear, his intentions obvious. He doesn’t approve, but he accepts that she accepts the risk.
“You’ll have to go it alone. No R2-C4. He’s needed elsewhere. We’re moving your ragtag band to another safe house, and we’ll have work waiting for them when they arrive.”
Naraana stands firm, meeting his steely gaze. “I understand, sir. He’ll be missed, but I can get the job done.”
“Fair enough. There’s a cargo transport bound for the Outer Rim leaving soon. We’ll get you on it. It’ll probably be to your advantage. No one will expect it. No felon in their right mind would head back TOWARD the Corporate Sector at a time like this.”
Naraana chuckles softly, more out of nerves than anything else. “I’ll pack my things.”
“Good luck, Naraana. And… it seems only appropriate to say this, now that there’s a Jedi in our midst… may the Force be with you.”
She jogs from the room, ready to collect the information that Signals Core and the Alliance desperately needs He watches her go. “And with us all.”
Valara stands in a circular room with an inlaid floor and 12 chairs arranged in a deep semicircle. The windows look out upon a city stretching in all directions, inspiring awe in anyone looking outward. The seats, appropriately enough, are facing inward, the scrutiny of ages of Jedi Masters palpable even when the seats are empty. Mern Kallef stands at the center of the circle, facing her. He is explaining the importance of patience and waiting for the right time to strike. Hologram lightsaber training, Soresu Technique. Valara is sweating with the hours of concentrated work. After also spending the morning on breathing exercises and meditation strengthening. The time left her an impression of standing under the warm glow of the Shili sun.
Ian comes into Main Area, “Gather everyone R2-C4, I have important news”
Everyone gathers except the Jedi. The rain can be heard softly battering the window on the far side of the room. R2-C4 enters the previously locked door as a flood of blinding light bursts from the threshold of Valara’s room. He moves quickly to whistle for Valara to follow him, but as he approaches, what he sees he almost can’t comprehend. His old Master Mern Kallef standing before him, in the temple on Coruscant. The droid is frozen for a moment his dome swiveling to take in the image of his old master. He regains his resolve, pushing against Valara, directing her into the main room. She quickly grabs the Holocron and closes it, and the room reverts to it’s previous state. R2-C4 stays in the room a moment, letting his longing and nostalgia pass before joining the others. A small cry escapes his vocator. He exits Valara’s room, the threshold now dark.
Ian is standing straight up exuding the air of command. His tone remains warm, but without his previous excitement.
“Reports from our Bothan Spy Network have revealed that Taris is no longer safe for you all. Six Imperial Class Star Destroyers have gathered at Stars’ End in the last days. This morning they all jumped to lightspeed along a specific trajectory. It is believed that two are headed for this system. We are moving you far from here, to another secure location. Ord Gimmel. The crew of the Pecunia will be moved separately until we can return them to their ship. You have one hour to collect your things before your transport leaves. I hope to see you all on the deck in 58 minutes. Good luck.”
As the Commander finishes his speech, he motioned by Corran to speak privately.
“While I appreciate your help, I have made… other arrangements. I have left my information with your staff in the event that you wish to reach out.” Corran says “The situation with this group is a little hot for my taste and I have some other business that has taken my attention.”
“The information you’ve given us has already proven quite valuable. We appreciate your help in our efforts and wish you the best of luck.” Responds the Commander
Roark moves toward Corran after overhearing the exchange
“Corran are we good?” He asks
“We’ll do business again.” Corran says “But in the meantime I have some info for you. If you’re headed to Ord Gimmel you need to look up. Sullustans brothers named Sien and Fiev Kyak. They do work for SoroSuub. I’ll get you in to see them.”
“Oh the Kyocks. I will get to know them well” Roark confirms once again butchering an unfamiliar name with ease
“Be safe, don’t draw too much fire.” Corran says to Roark before turning to the group “Good luck everyone!” With a flourish of his cape Corran leave. As soon as Corran exits, Guy Arros fills his spot next to Roark.
“I guess we’re gonna listen to these guys. Try to make it work.” Guy says, “It’s a fine mess we’re in!”
“Guy, you have been pretty on the right with me. I think an extra thousand credits will get you a little bit further on your way.” Roark says “Your crew has a valuable place in my business. I would like it if you remain in contact with me.”
“These guys are gonna keep us safe, and we’re being fed. It’ll work out for now. You’re a good man Roark, despite all this trouble following you.”
“I will contact you as soon as your ship is clear, or I get you a new ship”
A few days later in Hyperspace…
Everyone aboard the CR-90 has become a little stir crazy. The chess set has been broken with overuse. Even though everyone has space for themselves, they seemed ready to get back onto planet. Any Planet. Roark is given a message to call an unknown number. He heads to the Long Range Communications station and has the officer put the call through securely. After a moment, the frequency resolves with a squeal.
“Hey Roark can you hear me?”
“Yeah who is this?”
“Roark, it’s Jacen, what’s up buddy!”
“Oh you finally called me back, I’ve been waiti—”
“Yeah dude, Been stuck on Sullust for… I don’t even want to talk about it. What did you need when you called me the other day?”
“Yeah I was on Taris, but I’m not there anymore. Got something brewing on Ord Gimmel, do you know it?”
“Yeah man, Sullust is no more than 12 hours from there. Let’s grab a drink when you arrive”
“We could also hit up the Pizak tables!”
“Eh, uhh.. I’m staying away from that today. I got business done. Every time I wind up gambling with you, I lose money. I gotta tell you about this SoroSuub contracts, I was at their main office—- It’s better to talk about it in person.”
“I heard something similar, yeah, let’s talk when I arrive.”
“Take care buddy”
Rebus passes by on the way to his room as the line dies and mutters, “Well there goes the one guy in the universe that actually want to talk to Roark”
The ship roars out of hyperspace a day later, as Ord Gimmel fills the forward view. The larger transport pushes through the atmosphere and lands gently on the landing pad. All around the disembarking passengers is the city of Geharr. A wide metropolis surrounded by lush forest. The air smells of life as everyone moves to a quick succession of taxis. The day creeps away bathing everything in a red light, as the buildings start to gather specs of blue as the interior lights catch on. Roark is no sooner off the ship as he is talking into his comlink. Nothing catches his notice as he makes he way to the line. Valara, and Rebus are stopped along the way by an old woman. The lady hands Valara an advertisement for a local art exhibition, making direct eye contact and only saying “I think you will enjoy this dear,” before walking off. Rebus and Valara quickly join Roark in line, followed by their droid.
“We’ve got some time, who wants to go look at some art?” Asks Valara
“I used to sell art.” replies Roark
“That’s not an answer” retorts Valara
Rebus nods “I love art”
R2-C4 also beeps in the affirmative, as Roark gets into a cab. He waves them away from the speeder, saying “I gotta go handle some business. We’ll meet up later”
As they arrive, the exhibition space is large and ornate. The air of the Old Republic is strong here, and just like the Old Republic is no longer in fashion. There are very few people on the street, and the hall is empty except for staff when they arrive. The interior is crowded with exhibits behind the ticket booth. Once everyone has paid their entry they enter and are immediately bombarded by an old man yelling “NO DROIDS IN HERE!”
After the promise that anything the R2 unit bumps into would be paid for immediately, everyone enters the hall. They are greeted by a very excited, and knowledgeable tour-guide.
Immediately enthralled with the man’s descriptions understanding of each piece of art, both Rebus and Valara move through the museum with R2-C4 following. The droid is careful to avoid any pedestals along his path. They are stopped by an old woman, covered in ornate handmade clothes, with bracelets and handmade jewelry. She asks Valara for some feedback on her newest piece of sculpture, The Suns over Corvala.
“What have I told you about harassing our guests? Go back to the aerosol cheeses” chides the tour guide.
“I would love the opinion of this nice young lady. I can tell a Shili girl when I see her.”
“She’ll miss on some of the finest art the Mid-Rim has ever seen. You can’t take her away from MonCal sculpture or the Portu waterworks! You can’t just immediately take people to the Sculptures of Historical Merit section, there is a designated program!”
“I have a bad feeling about this.” mutters Roark
After moving through the hall, and skipping a majority of the exhibits, the guide ushers them into a hall with some damn tasteful modern art. Along one side is a mobile, made of concentric circles, lighting a portion of the hall in a gentle blue, and bathing the hall in a gentle thrum.
Valara is immediately taken with the exhibit as it represents the expansion of the Togruta, and eventually all life on Shili, tracing from Corvala in its innermost circle to the far plains kept for herding nerf at its outermost ring. The most perfect representation of her past. The thrum is less gentle from where she now stands and its source sounding so familiar….
The tour guide stops Rebus from sitting in what looks like a chair, but is actually “The Pull of Hyperspace”, another sculpture in the exhibit and after a moment attempts to continue his tour. Valara is almost frozen under the piece, studying it every detail.
“We really must be going, there are a number of exhibits to see. The torches of the expansion region cannot be missed!”
Everyone follows by Valara, who is held back by the women, who clasps the jedi’s hands into her own warm wrinkled embrace. The sentiment is warm, but so direct and familial it is immediately off putting.
“What did you think about my sculpture dear?”
“I am curious about how it was constructed…” replies Valara
“Well dear, let me show you. The hardest part was honestly the lighting”
She explains where she found all the pieces for her sculpture, and the care used to assemble it as she leads Valara to a ladder. They climb to a catwalk near the rafters where Valara can see the careful work put into suspending the sculpture and the lighting assembly.
“The source of the light is from Corvala itself, and inspired this whole thing. I used to teach in Corvala years ago, you know. You are from Shili aren’t you? I can see it in your face. What do you think about this piece?”
“I did appreciate the outer ring. It is a great representation of herder life.”
“Yes, I could smell the whiff of nerf upon you. That life is hard to leave. But you aren’t from there originally, are you?”
“No, you’re right, I’m from Corvala originally.”
The light emitter is a series of cylinders of varying width, creating a series of rings around a central assembly, which terminates at a cylinder that looks like handle. She deactivates the light in the sculpture with a SHHHWP, and unscrews the core of the emitter. The handle has a series of rings encircling a simple powercell, a switch, and emitter tip.
She reactivates the handle, and with a PWSHHH, its true nature is revealed. The glow of the saber is exactly the same as that of the Holocron training, and its hum now unmistakable.
“I thought you looked familiar, my family taught at the academy there for generations. It’s one of the only buildings to make it through the Clone Wars unharmed. I found this there actually.”
“Is, is it for sale?” Asks Valara
“No, but if you can replace it as a light source for this sculpture, it is yours. The project has taken me 10 years to build, and has just finally taken some notice.”
With that a deal is struck. The old lady reinserts the lightsaber, and ushers Valara back to her group. Valara follows, though the temptation to just steal the saber is powerful. As she arrives to the group she find Rebus catching a vase that R2-C4 has knocked off its perch. The guide is speaking in great detail of a piece so boring the droid’s lights flicker into power-save for a moment.
Across Geharr Roark finally meets with Jacen, at a joint called the Cheap Chit. The bar is quiet, as they greet each other. As they get to business a low din of conversations finally picks up to mask the importance of their conversation.
“I’m here on some pretty important business for my new venture Trans-Hydian Shipping. Tell me about Sullust though. Sounded like you got something good”
“Yeah buddy. Buy me a drink, and I’ll tell you all about it.”
Roark listens as Jacen goes into detail about the contract he was just offered. Jacen explains that it’s for shipping Stellar Material, which sounds worse than bantha fodder. The contract was offered to a couple of firms and the runs are really limited, but the payout is six figures. The whole deal is sealed by contract…
“And you’ll never guess where it is, somewhere special to your heart…” Jacen finishes
“Oh man, Corellia!” Exclaims Rebus. No place like home.
“Nonono, in a much worse way..” Corrects Jacen
“Don’t tell me it’s Bacrana…”
Jacen laughs, “It’s Bacrana! Boy has that place has only gotten worse since you left buddy. After you took off, you know after the Hutt thing, there was a huge attack, blew up an imperial cruiser! The Ring has a bunch of holes in it, mostly in the slums, but elsewhere too. The Imperial Staging area isn’t as full… All the ISDs don’t get closer than .2 parsecs from each other. It’s a huge mess.”
“What about Tarc Jakker?”
“Dude, buddy, Tarc’s dead. Some crazy deal he had went bad. Someone was able to fit a whole freighter into the Government Section, flew it inside the station, and it shot everyone within three floors of him before crashing. I watched the video. This guy, Kreel jumps onto the freighter right after and crashes it into another building! Craziest gunfight I’ve ever seen. You ever meet Kreel?”
Roark sits in shock for a moment, not believing Tarc has died.
“That’s a tall tale even for me, the king of storytellers. Are you saying the place is ripe for the taking…”
“Yeah. nothing The Black Sun had after you left was even close to MidRim. That was the best front organization I have ever seen.” Says Jacen
Roark uses the opportunity to pitch yet another interested party about the benefits of TRANS-HYDIAN.
“You know, that sounds awesome. It’s too bad my ship was too small for that Sullust job. I had to refer them to a buddy on a Armos ModTrans for a fee. I don’t have the equipment to haul the weight they wanted.”
Roark and Jacen leave a few minutes later after Roark uses the last of this opportunity to learn about the Kyak brothers, so he is ready to meet them at SoroSuub Plaza. Roark picks up the bill.
An hour after landing on Ord Gimmel, everyone is in the safehouse that the Rebels provide. The facility is within an old hotel in the SoroSuub district adjacent to a factory. Valara and R2-C4 have already collected material for the light emitter in the sculpture. Rebus and Roark are in a chair and on the couch respectively.
“I saw the worst art today” Rebus mutters
Roark doesn’t reply, but turns and lays out across the couch, unable to nap because of the work starting behind them. A fire breaks out and is immediately extinguished by R2-C4.
“No no no, This one goes here, that one goes there” says Valara, pointing into the mess of wires.
She puts the goggles back on, as R2-C4 reactivates his wielder. They continue to build the replacement as sparks spray from the work area. Roark gets ready to leave, as Rebus has fallen asleep in his chair, his helmet tipped down like a cowboy hat.
“Well I have a meeting to go to,” says Roark, brushing off his lap and heading to the door.
Hopefully he’ll still have a building to return to…
Roark arrives at SoroSuub tower, and parks his loaned speeder within the structure that takes up the first 2 floors of the building. Validating his ticket, he takes a lift up to the top floor of the building.
“How can I help you?” asks the Deaon secretary
“Oh, Hi. I have an appointment with Mr Keeyok.” Says Roark
“I’m sorry, and you are?” asks the secretary, wincing at the butchered name.
“I’m sorry. I have no record of a Roark.” Apologizes the secretary after a moment.
“Try Corran Costi, C-O-S-T-I”
After a quick confirmations of his arrival, she ushered Roark inside. The office that houses the Kyaks takes over the rest of the floor. Two desks and a conference table are the only things that prevent an unobstructed view of the city skyline, which terminates at a forest that stretches to the horizon. Two Sullustans raise their arms in unison, greeting the man.
“Roark!” “Oh it’s Roark!” They both cry out.
Both of them walk over to shake the man’s hand, and usher him to the conference table.
“Gentleman, before we start, can I ask, is this Corellian Oak?” Opens Roark, running his hand along the tables soft surface. No need to talk tough without first building rapport.
“Good eye!” “He has two of them” “We got it from one of the moons”
“I know my stuff guys” says Roark with a smile and a nod.
“Same look, cheaper price” “Always a good deal”
“So i was told by a mutual associate of ours that you might have some work my organization might be interested in.”
This contract was much bigger than Roark. It was obvious from the room, the wood, and his previous talk with Jacen. Trans Hydian had to seem big, but unknown if he was to pull this off. This required a company, not just some smuggler captain with a YT. The scale of this operation that Corran dropped him into was already much larger than what Roark originally intended. He was uncomfortable. Opportunity often only comes from where you want it least.
“Siev, tell the boy what we need.”
“Well we have material that needs moving” “A lot of material” “We heard you are in the business of moving things, do you have access to a blockade runner?”
“A Blockade Runner?” Asked Roark
A Corellian Corvette, the CR90, was a capital ship. One Roark did not have. This job was an order of magnitude bigger than he originally hoped. To make matters worse, Roark could no longer distinguish which Kyak was which.
“Trans Hydian Shipping , it sounds like you guys are getting pretty big, is that right?”
Roark gulped “Yeah, that’s right”
“Yeah Corran said you guys had a decent fleet of ships. That should be no problem. We never heard of you, but we know Corran. Good business man. We trust him”
“Well we’re on the wrong run if you catch my meaning. I mean, Trans Hydian. My operation is normally way west of here, I’m not shocked you haven’t heard of us.” Offered Roark
“We understand that Corran is a good guy, and we trust him.” “Great guy” “Too tall though” “Yes, and capes. Too many capes” “I need a step ladder to look him in the eyes”
“Gentleman, gentleman, Just what are we moving here?”asks Roark
“Just raw material?” Confirms Roark
“ Stellar Material”
“Where are we shipping this material to?” Asks Roark
“That is classified. So let me work this out for you?” “Can I tell you about Stellar Material?”
“ Let me know about Stellar Material” say Roark
“Ok, so we used to have a huge stockpile of this material, years ago. Super dense. It was making a dent in a planet just keeping it stored. Totally worthless. Cost us more to keep it then to sell it.” “Sat there like an unemployed Hutt” “We finally got rid of it and you know what? The market changed” “We missed the boat” “The pricing structure on this is unbelieveable”
Finally with their guard down, Roark gets the real information…
“The Empire contracts SoroSuub” “The delivery schedule is scattered” “No one allowed more than 3 shipments” “Transit points are all over the place” “Doesn’t make any sense” “Doesn’t make any sense” “Here’s the good news though” “35,000 credits a load” “3 loads max” “Six figure payout” “This is a huge opportunity”
“What’s the tonnage on this job?” Asks Roark.
“That’s the thing, they’re only now extracting it.” “No firm numbers” “Yeah, and it’s not native to the location either.” “It’s in Bacrana, you heard of it?”
“Yeah. I’ve heard of Bacrana” answers Roark
“So Bacrana had a problem recently, where it came into a quantity of, can you believe it?” “ Stellar Material” “And this stuff… It’s denser than my secretary”
“Well I won’t…”interrupts Roark before being talked over
“Oh no, not Fiev’s secretary. She’s great, very nice” “Yes very nice” “I don’t know what I did, but…” “Well you hired her sister, that’s what you did” “Well I got all the good toys growing up, you got all the good secretaries not that we’re here” “Well that’s because I’m two inches taller” “Not this again, you’re not any taller” “But I’m the handsomer one” “We’re the same height”
“You know, I would have to agree with him. Maybe not two inches, but one” offers Roark
“I like this man.” “Yes, very good” “He knows how to compromise” “I like this, he knows how to negotiate” “And no capes” “yes but capes get you into all the best clubs” “Ok, back to the numbers, 35,000” “Do you know what we call capes? We call them robes”
“I get it, i get it. I understand. Now if there’s one thing I understand about Stellar Material, it’s that very dangerous to move” again offers Roark
“It is, slows you down” “yes slows the ship down quite a bit”
“You know, it does slow you down, and it leaves you open to pirates and the like” counters Roark trying to get a little extra movement on that payment
“PIRATES? No one will touch this stuff!” “No one is offering this price but the Empire” “this deal is invite only” “it’s Garbage” “No one would even builds with this” “We’re not even sure why they want it so bad, but we like to take people’s money” “It doesn’t sit on the commodity market”
“Pirates will still hit any target that’s slow enough, even just for the ship. That’s a lot of risk. We can surely negotiate a higher price just on that alone” offers Roark, trying to once again negotiate a higher payout
“Can’t.” “It’s a contract.” We don’t set the price.” “The Empire set the price” “Risk is built into the payout”
“You’re just the middlemen. To keep such a sterling reputation, perhaps you can put your own skin into the game” offers Roark once again
“This is SoroSuub!” “You ever see a Stormtrooper? You see those blasters” “we make those. Those are SoroSuub blasters!”
“I love SoroSuub, you guys are great but word on the street is ehhhh” Roark says while making an unsure hand motion “Miiight not be favorable”
The words were no sooner out of Roark’s mouth than he regretted saying them. You never insult the client. Ever. Not when they hold all the credits. Both the Sullustan’s eyes narrowed. They had no control over the contract, and this deal was designed to repel real businessmen. This job was open and shut and weirder than anything he’d heard of. He winced, expecting to have blown the negotiation, and to be kicked out. Never insult unless you have a strong close.
“Who is this guy?” “Who is this guy?” “Eeeeeeh” “That is a strange name” “Are you trying to negotiate with us?” “It sounds like we’re negotiating”
“No, I’m accepting your 35,000 credit job. I just ask for the first payment upfront”
“Upfront? Here’s what we’ll do. Three load guarantee. Twelve percent total payment upfront” “This should more than cover any expenses” “This is job is contract only, all expenses are on you. Fuel, docking, everything comes out of your pay”
“Alright, that sounds great, it’s a very good deal.” Roark signs the contract “Well, I guess that concludes our business for today”
“Congratulations” “Yes, good job” “We’ll handle the rest later.” “I think you did great”
“Once this contract is finished. I would love do more business with SoroSuub”
“Well word on the street…”
“Wait what’s the word on the street?” Asks Roark
“What did he say Fiev, what was it he said” “He said”
In unison both say “Eeeeeeeeeeeh”
The Sullustans leave him while making the unsure hand-motion and laughing with/at Roark.
Another successful business negotiation.
Back at the safehouse, the team labors over their makeshift emitter. As mechanical failure follows mechanical failure, the idea of simply stealing the lightsaber is floated more than once. Roark arrives with fresh materials just as another power cell is fried, making for a delightfully room-clearing stench. They discuss alternatives to the overloaded power cells, the best of which is a power cable that could plug directly into the exhibition hall.
Then again, the power cell doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to last long enough to get off-planet. R2 bweeps and boops, indicating that the current equipment could manage a four-day charge if things go well.
“Let’s go get that saber” says Valara, ignoring how rarely things seem to go well for them.
“I’m… I’m not a fan of that place” say Rebus, as he wakes back up.
As they arrive, they are greeted by the old woman. She unlocks the front door ushering them back inside.
“What is that burly young man doing back here? I knew you liked the art here. I knew it. I knew it!”
She quickly brings them to the Suns of Corvala, and they get to work quickly. Valara and R2-C4 plugs their makeshift emitter into the art piece. As soon as everything is set, and power is run to the sculpture, the power in the building goes out. R2-C4 quickly turns on his light as they move away from the project.
“Damn this building. It is so old” Says the old lady “Come on down from there”
As soon as they arrive, she hands the saber to Valara. As she ushers everyone out she moves Valara to one side and talks in a hushed tone.
“You and I both know what this is. Be very careful with how and when you use this. It attracts a lot of unwanted attention.” She says “The Order is smaller than it’s ever been. May the Force be with you always dear”
As they leave she hands Valara a document cylinder to attach to her belt, to help conceal the saber and waves them off as she closes the door behind them.
Now that Valara has this to help her learn, the real quest for her crystal must begin.
As soon as they return to the safehouse, their new acquisition secured, the group is moved to an abandoned warehouse to finally meet with the Rebel leader on Ord Gimmel, a woman named Salara. They are escorted to a private meeting room with a lone Daeon girl. Although all members of their species are spindly and slight, she seems even moreso. She looks no older than 17, young for someone with such an important position.
The escort stops after introducing them, and is allowed to leave. He nods saying “My Queen” as he shuts the door behind him.
Backs straighten and chins rise as the team realizes they’re in the presence of royalty. The plot thickens.
“Thank you all for coming” she says, “This is a matter of utmost importance. Commander Merknor recommends that I use you all to help me with a very delicate matter. The planet is in a very precarious state after the death of the former Queen. “
“There are a number of parties vying for the throne. I am one of those parties. The Rebels are troubled, as recently a great many intelligence operations have failed or met poor ends, and we believe we have number of agents working against us. Three to be exact. We need your help to remove them. Welcome to Operation: Clean Sweep.”